As the countdown to Christmas continues, brands are looking for new ways to reach and convert shoppers. And as consumers turn to video to discover new products, YouTube has quickly become an essential tool.

On 5th November Google revealed that advertisers would soon be able to reach prospective customers on YouTube through their Shopping Ads. Specifically, these ads will begin to appear on YouTube’s home feed and search results.

What Are YouTube Shopping Ads?

As the image below shows, shopping ads on YouTube display similarly to those in Google Search. They include a product image, name and price as well as the Merchant’s name.

Shopping Ads in YouTube search results

Unlike text-only ads, these are more visually appealing and therefore likely to encourage a greater number of clicks. Due to the limited space, however, there are no extensions such as sitelinks or locations.

How Are YouTube Shopping Ads Targeted?

As you would expect, Google will use their wealth of data to ensure the relevance of your ad to the user. This includes both historic and real-time information about a user’s behaviour. This is used to understand their intention, whether they are simply researching or looking to make a purchase.

Dependent upon your bidding strategy, Google will adjust your bid and therefore your likliness of appearing. This may be with the aim to maximise reach, clicks, conversions or return on advertising spend.

How Do You Create YouTube Shopping Ads?

If you’re currently running shopping ads and are opted-into YouTube on Display Network, your ads will begin to appear on YouTube. The ads will use the information available in your Merchant Centre account, such as product image and price.

Once you’re up and running, you’ll be able to analyse the performance of the ads within the ‘Placements’ portion of the Google Ads manager. Here you’ll find a breakdown of which placements are most effective, ranging from Google Search to YouTube.


Whilst the effectiveness of Google’s Display Network is debated, YouTube has proven itself as an effective channel for many businesses. Research has also shown that an increasing number of consumers are discovering products through online video.

If you need help maximising the performance of your Google Ads, learn more about my PPC consultancy. Also keep an eye out for my future articles on YouTube and the role it plays in marketing your brand.